I feel like a teenage boy asking the homecoming queen to the prom. What a relief to say it out loud. It’s nice to admit when you have silly fears and prejudices that really aren’t so silly because they cripple your ability to make friends with perfectly good, and sometimes completely awesome, people. I am terrified of beautiful women and especially beautiful moms.
I don’t know when this prejudice of mine began or how it was formed, but today it reared its ugly head and for the first time I acknowledged it, examined it, and decided it was time for a change. Twice now, I have run into this beautiful, tall, blond mom during children’s events downtown. She is gorgeous, with perfect hair, perfect teeth, beautiful clothes, and a traffic stopping smile. Also, she is really nice. I mean REALLY nice. Her two daughters, one slightly younger than Tiny-Small and one slightly older, are perfect playmates. Tiny-Small adores them. She hugs them, she dances with them, and she holds hands with them. Today, this mom came up to me and said hello and asked how we were. We chatted a minute and then some distraction occurred and before I knew it I was shuttling Tiny-Small home for a nap. Later, Jim asked me why I didn’t exchange phone numbers with that mom because it seemed obvious, to him, that she was trying to make friends with me. I was a little stunned because my first thought was nobody that gorgeous would ever want to be friends with someone like me. Talk about being biased, right? Talk about judging people completely on appearances. I had a moment of utter clarity. Also, what did I mean by “someone like me”? I realized my insecurities have been stopping me from making friends. The worst part is I am holding myself back because I don’t think I am pretty enough to run with such an attractive crowd. I’m holding myself back because I am superficial and because I am assuming all attractive woman are superficial too. That is a hard pill to swallow. I’m not going to lie. I am more than a little disappointed in myself. I’m the first person to get up on my soap box and lecture people on not judging a book by its cover. Meanwhile, I am doing that all the time when it comes to beautiful people. All the time!
Still, I fear rejection. I feel like I am trying to get a date when I am out hoping to meet moms. Will I be the right kind of mom? Will I fit into their group of friends? Will I be too opinionated or not opinionated enough? Too old? Too young? Too much of one thing or another or maybe too little of one thing or another? I’m intimidated by the moms with makeup, jewelry, hair styles, ironed clothes…mostly because around them I feel a little inadequate, like maybe I am doing this mothering thing all the wrong way. Of course, it has nothing to do with mothering. I never dressed that way before I had my daughter either. I just have different priorities. I spend the time I could be grooming drinking coffee and daydreaming. I don’t iron because I’d rather be reading or writing or painting. These are the same reasons my house is never spotless.
Maybe having different priorities is a good thing. Friends expose you to new ideas and new ways of living. They have different talents than you do. That’s part of what makes it fun. I could sure use a friend that knows how to put a wardrobe together or who can teach me how to use a blow dryer appropriately. It’s occurred to me that some of these beautiful women may wish they could have the confidence I seem to have. Maybe they want to show up slightly wrinkled and wearing shoes that allow them to get down on the floor with their kids or climb on the monkey bars. Maybe they see my differences and talents in a positive way or maybe I am also making them feel inadequate with my outward attitude of who cares what other people think (even though on the inside I am not always so confident). Maybe we are all prejudging each other based on superficial things. Jim reminded me that beautiful people get lonely too. He wondered if maybe that beautiful, blond mom had just moved here and was having as much trouble meeting people as I was. Maybe she wants a quirky side-kick to get into mischief with. Someone she can be herself with. Someone who won’t care if her purse matches her shoes.
I’m making myself some “MOM” business cards so that the next time I run into this blond beauty I can hand her one. I think it’s time I stopped being prejudice. It’s time I stopped acting like a teenage boy asking the head cheer leader out on a date. I’m not in high school anymore. I’m an adult woman, with a lot to offer to other moms. All of those beauties out there have a lot to offer me too. Nobody enjoys being treated like just a pretty face. Besides, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. It’s time I got my behavior in line with my beliefs…and stopped being such a coward.